The Charlotte Hornets took a big risk when they signed Gordon Hayward to a four year $120 million deal. Hayward’s lone All-Star appearance occurred in the 2016-17 season when he played for the Utah Jazz. Since then, he’s played in 125 of a possible 239 games for the Boston Celtics.
Walker Mehl: Let’s talk about some of the scenarios where signing Gordon Hayward could go wrong. We just mentioned that if Gordon is good this season, say that he helps this team get just good enough to get to a seven or eight seed, and then they get beaten in the first round of the playoffs. Then that causes Charlotte to have to pick in the later lottery or outside the lottery.
Another way this could go bad is that he’s just not good and then you have a bad contract for four years that you’re basically playing musical bad contracts over the next few seasons, exactly like you did with Plumlee, Dwight Howard, Mozgov, and Bismack Biyombo. However, instead of playing musical contracts with a $17 million a year deal, you’re playing with a $30 million a year deal.
He gets hurt too. This is someone that has an injury history. You can say it was a fluke injury, the first game that he played with the Boston Celtics, that’s true. But he came back the following season and averaged just over 11 points per game and didn’t shoot well from three. If you get rid of that year, I think he played 72 games that season. We also just saw him have, I believe, a couple of injuries this season in which I think he played 52 games. I think he missed something close to 15-20 games. We know that he got hurt in the playoffs and so this is a player that you’re bringing on on the other side of 30 with an injury history too.